Tolentino and Northern Italy
report by Sonoko Tanaka
On the afternoon of May 17, dozens of people—mainly in Europe, the U.K., and Japan—came together for an online SOPP ceremony using the Zoom internet meeting platform. The ceremony lasted over two hours. Various participants served as MCs and facilitators, in both Italian and English.
The ceremony began with an introduction of the SOPP and of some of recent peace activities that have taken place in Italy. Then, peace prayers were offered from 13 different religious traditions, with each prayer leader appearing on screen. These were followed by a presentation of the Divine Spark IN by Gian Franco, a Byakko satellite member in Italy, and a prayer from May Peace Prevail on Earth International, led by Caroline Uchima of Allanton Peace Sanctuary, U.K. (also translated into Italian). The prayers were written out in a PDF document, so that all participants could join in.
The next portion of the program was a world peace flag ceremony. Beginning with the prayer May peace prevail on Earth in a number of different languages, participants then prayed for peace in each country and region on earth. Facilitators for this part of the ceremony called out each country’s name and prayed May peace prevail in (name of country) in Italian. At the same time, a slide appeared on screen with the country’s flag and the same peace prayer in the country’s official language(s), with a background image showing the country’s location on earth. After this, participants also joined in a prayer of Gratitude to Nature, with a slideshow of beautiful images of the natural world accompanying each part of the prayer.
The event closed with messages of thanks from the hosts and various participants. The ceremony was also streamed live on YouTube, where it can be viewed at youtu.be/udO07GQj7oQ.